Document / search engine: Publishable version of the needs and barriers analysis on exploitation of sidestream biomass
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Website link: http://agriforvalor.eu/downloads/
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AGRIFORVALOR works on closing the research and innovation divide by connecting practitioners from agriculture and forestry with research and academia as well as with associations and clusters, bio-industry, policy makers; business support organizations, innovation agencies and technology transfer intermediaries in multi-actor innovation partnership networks in order to valorise and exploit sidestream biomass resources from agriculture and forestry. The project established 3 multi-actor networks managed by three Biomass Innovation Design Hubs, piloted in Spain (Andalucía), Ireland and Hungary. In each hub, existing research results and good practice on valorisation of biomass sidestreams from agriculture and forestry are shared and matched with the specific needs and potentials, and dedicated innovation support applied to further deploy selected exploitation topics which are dealt with by multi-actor innovation partnership (IP) groups. AGRIFORVALOR builds on the principles of EIP AGRI and supports effective exchange of existing knowledge on innovative approaches on sidestream valorisation and Bioeconomy implementation opportunities for agriculture and forestry sectors. The hubs collected and disseminated information on research technics and best practice in sidestream valorisation in the first project year (WP1). They have also surveyed sidestream biomass potentials and opportunities in the three hubs and organised events that aimed at sharing results and collecting expression of interests on specific exploitation topics. All hubs have set up Innovation Partnership Groups (IP Groups, IPG) on exploitation topics (WP2). In WP 3, AGRIFORVALOR consortium started to work on exploitation topics and offering exploitation support to hub members and the members of the IP Groups. For this aim, a questionnaire was prepared and the members of the IP groups and also the members of the Biomass Innovation Design Hubs were interviewed in a structured way with this questionnaire on the needs and the barriers for exploitation. On the basis of altogether 68 answers (Spanish hub received 21 responses, the Hungarian 22, and the Irish hub 25 responses), AGRIFORVALOR can provide a good analysis of the barriers related to exploitation of biomass valorisation and the actual needs of the Innovation Partnerships groups that was created within the framework of the project. The composition of the respondents: 27 respondents are members of one or more IP Group. Several non-members indicated that they are considering joining an IP Group in the near future. As to the type of company they belong to universities, research institutions, public authorities or other organisations seemed to be more ready and willing to answer the questionnaire than farmers and foresters which might be because they had about one month to fill in the questionnaires. Altogether 14 farmers or foresters, 31 SMEs or other bioindustry representatives and 19 RTD institutes/universities responded. The rest of the respondents come from not for profit organisations, authorities or other related types of organisations. Taken all the responses together, the most popular themes for training and coaching are: valorisation possibilities of different biomass sidestreams, good practices in the field of biomass sidestream valorisation “zero waste” concept, circular economy, bioeconomy Project management Innovation management As to the form of the trainings and coaching, most respondent prefer online information and sharing information personally. It has to be taken into account when organising the trainings and coaching that most respondents think they already have good knowledge necessary to carry out an innovation process or to introduce a new technology into their company. The needs and barriers identified in the 3 hubs show some common characteristics. The popularity of learning about new valorisation possibilities shows that companies now focus mostly on energy or fertiliser production (in different proportions in the different hubs), and would like to know what else can be produced using biomass and what are the existing technologies they can use for this end. Focused information activities can help spread the knowledge about what is already working in this field, in order to be more efficient and effective and not to lengthen the innovation processes unnecessarily. The knowledge about zero waste technologies and bioeconomy in general would also be welcome by the respondents. This, we can take as a curiosity towards the latest developments in the field, also on the policy and general professional trends side. This, taken together with a barrier perceived by many (lack of support and not enough support from policy towards biomass valorisation) means that the training participants should include decision makers or experts working on policy development. Appropriate means should be chosen to reach and persuade this target group. Most respondents think that not innovating is risky – they understand the persistent need to innovate and to introduce new, cheaper, better technologies, but are also aware of the possible dangers and barriers to the innovation process. Many also understand the ecological circumstances that should drive agriculture, forestry and bioindustry towards the goals of bioeconomy nationally and internationally, in order to safeguard People and the Planet, besides Profit.
Countries/regions described/represented: Hungary, Ireland, Spain